ISLAMABAD -  The federal government is all set to establish the “Climate Change Authority” to enhance cooperation between the centre and provinces and to fight climate issues, The Nation learnt reliably.

In its last meeting on Wednesday, the federal cabinet had also approved the “Pakistan Climate Change Act, 2016”. Federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid will present the Act in the next session of the National Assembly. 

According to official sources, the prime minister will be the chairperson of the authority and the National Disaster Management Authority chairman, Climate Change Division secretary, chief secretaries of all provinces, officials of ministry of finance, science and technology, planning division and water and power and representative of civil society would be part of the authority.

The meeting of authority would be held after every six months. Meanwhile, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh have shown their reservations over the establishment of the new authority, the source said. 

The sources said that setting up of the authority aimed to boost cooperation and coordination between the federal government and provinces on issues related to climate change. They said that the federal division for climate change has completely failed to play its role in the implementation of the National Climate Change Policy in the last three and half years. They said that the centre wrote several reminders to provinces to provide their recommendations regarding the National Forest Policy, but, they did not respond positively and also avoided to follow the instruction of the federal government mainly due to the devaluation of climate change ministry under the 18th amendment.   

The sources said that the federal minister and secretary of climate change division did not take interest to settle the issues between provinces and the federal government.  They could not call the meeting of representatives of provinces and other stakeholders for the implementation of the climate change policy.

While talking to The Nation, a senior official of the Ministry of Climate Change said that there was no need of any such authority in the presence of a full-fledged division for climate change and ERRA and NDMA. He claimed that the government was establishing the authority just to accommodate its blue-eyed bureaucrats on heavy packages. He said that all provinces have sent proposals of 49 projects to the federal government in the light of the National Climate Change Policy but it did not consider a single proposal citing “poor drafting”.